Local mobile home park without water until further notice
SPRINGFIELD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - An entire mobile home park has been without water for nearly two days now and it’s unclear when residents can expect it to come back on.
All the water bills were paid and up to date. The water is shut off due to an ongoing issue between the city of Springfield and the owner of the park. Records show the city repeatedly trying to move existing water meters onto public property. But the project calls for the owner’s cooperation. After 10 months of back and forth, city officials told NewsChannel 7 they had to move forward and as a result, the water got cut off.
It was a rude awakening Monday morning. Residents of the Panama City Mobile Home Park, located in Springfield, woke up to find their water shut off.
“This was really, really bad on all these families. I mean, we’ve got kids here, here. Over there,” resident Don Julian said.
“There’s two pregnant women that’s fixin’ to deliver. I don’t understand. I thought I lived in the United States, not in Russia,” resident Sonya Weir said.
Decades ago, the city of Springfield put water meters throughout the park, which later became an issue when trying to fix leaks on private property.
Betty Anderson owned the property for roughly 40 years before selling it to Ronnie Breseman this year.
“They came in and put their meters in. They put their meters wherever they’ve been in here all that time. Now, there’s a new group of people up at Springfield that decided just because they don’t have enough how they don’t have enough pictures that they’ve had come in and replace some of the old water lines that they put in that now it has to be moved to the road,” Anderson said.
New meters now line the roadside. It’s just a matter of connecting them, which is something the city told NewsChannel 7 the current landlord is responsible for doing.
“Now they want us to move the water lines. We’ve been disputing that with them. It should be their financial responsibility. We’ve tried to put a plan together. And they just gave us no alternative and just shut off the water,” Ronnie Breseman, the current property owner of the Panama City Mobile Home Park, said. “So no, we weren’t expecting them to turn off the water.”
While Breseman claims the idea of Springfield turning off the water was shocking, the project as a whole was not. The city began sending letters to the Andersons, the old property owners, last year. Breseman was notified this past February. Since then, multiple letters and phone calls have been exchanged. One letter dated October 4th explicitly said the city has intentions of discontinuing service.
Now Breseman is working to get those lines connected as quickly as possible. But it doesn’t change the fact, more than 20 residential homes are forced to wait without any water.
Families are having to find ways to cook and bathe.
“Now I have to go to my mom and dad’s to actually get the kids to shower for school and everything like that,” Julio said. “It’s put quite a bit of a problem on my family. I mean, I work every day 40 sometimes 50 hours a week. And I pay my bill.”
Others can’t even do that. Weir has been in a wheelchair for roughly 30 years.
“Nobody is willing to help me. I have no transportation. I’m wheelchair-bound. I’m in a camper. I have two cats,” Weir said. “I mean, look at me. I can’t walk. I can’t take water from other people’s houses.”
City officials said the new taps are already in there. Once the new lines run, the water will turn back on.
The current landlord said he’s trying to get the water lines connected in the next 24 to 48 hours, but he doesn’t have an exact date yet.
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